Original Article

Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 25, Issue 1, pp 24-29

First online:

Ankylosing spondylitis and heart abnormalities: do cardiac conduction disorders, valve regurgitation and diastolic dysfunction occur more often in male patients with diagnosed ankylosing spondylitis for over 15 years than in the normal population?

  • Florian BrunnerAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Balgrist University Hospital Email author 
  • , Andres KunzAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Balgrist University Hospital
  • , Ulrich WeberAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Balgrist University Hospital
  • , Rudolf KisslingAffiliated withDepartment of Physical Medicine and Rheumatology, Balgrist University Hospital

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to determine the rate of selected cardiac pathologies (conduction disorders, valve regurgitation and diastolic dysfunction) in patients with long-standing ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and compare the results with the prevalence in the normal population. A rheumatologic (structured questionnaire interview) and cardiac evaluation (resting electrocardiography and echocardiography) was performed in 100 male subjects with AS and a disease duration of more than 15 years. The rates for conduction disorders, aortic and mitral valve regurgitation and diastolic dysfunction were compared with the corresponding results in the literature among the normal population. In patients with long-standing AS there was no increased rate for valve regurgitation (mitral and aortic valve) and for arrhythmia. Diastolic dysfunction occurred more often in patients with long-standing AS. However, this might be caused by the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as age and hypertension. According to these results, a cardiologic evaluation with echocardiography should not be recommended routinely in patients with long-standing AS. To confirm these results, a large prospective study with patients with long-standing AS and with a matched control group should be performed in the future.

Keywords

Ankylosing spondylitis Conduction disorder Diastolic dysfunction Heart affection Valve regurgitation